Homecoming Queen: Cecilia Brækhus
On Saturday, October 1, at the Oslo Spektrum, professional boxing makes its long-awaited return to Norway when WBA/WBC/ WBO/IBF/IBO female welterweight champion Cecilia Brækhus (28-0, 7 KOs), the undefeated superstar from Oslo by way of Cartagena, Colombia, defends her title against former WBA World female super lightweight champion Anne Sophie Mathis (27-3-1, 23 KOs), from Varangéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle, France.
The fight has generated enormous interest in Norway, as it’s the first professional fight on Norwegian soil since 1981. In advance of the bout, a rematch of the fight Brækhus won in 2012 by unanimous decision, the fighters met with the press on Friday in Oslo.
“Many reckon me as ‘the female Mike Tyson,’” said Mathis, “and there is a reason for that.”
Twenty-three knockouts in 32 fights is the reason.
“Cecilia Brækhus is an intelligent boxer, but I am stronger than what you expect. You will see it when I am in the ring.”
Mathis was handpicked by Brækhus, not because she’s a pushover, but because she comes to fight.
“Sparring starts next week,” said Brækhus. “My last opponent Chris Namus will fly down to our camp in Spain to help out the last weeks. The camp has been great, and I feel better than ever. I have built some solid muscles and am faster, more explosive and better than ever.”
The 10,000 tickets for the fight sold out in eight hours.
“I’m thrilled I finally get the opportunity to fight in Norway,” Brækhus said. “I have been dreaming of boxing in front of my home fans in my home country since I turned pro nine years ago. I am very confident and I have no problems handling the pressure. I rise to these occasions. These are the kind of fights that every boxer dreams of.”
Fighting away from home doesn’t concern Mathis, even though she’ll be in enemy territory.
“I am used to fighting away,” she said. “The pressure that many boxers feel when they fight away from home doesn’t affect me at all. I have almost never fought in France. I have no belts, so I have nothing to lose. All the pressure is on Brækhus. I said yes to this fight because I feel ready and I know I can win.”